Be the Change: A Perspective on Newark Charter School by a Local Resident

March 13th, 2012

Category: News

I live in the center of it all – and by center I mean smack dab in the middle of Newark Charter School’s five-mile radius.  With such an incredible school so close by, it is no wonder that at some point nearly every family on my street has rolled the dice and entered Newark Charter’s lottery.  Unfortunately, not everyone has been lucky enough to have been selected.  Therefore, my neighborhood resembles the melting pot that is Delaware’s schools.  On my street alone, there are families that have students attending independent schools, catholic schools, charter schools, Christina School District schools, Appoquinimink School District schools, Red Clay Consolidated School District schools, NCC Vo-Tech schools and there are even 2 families that home school.  It’s a traffic nightmare just getting out of the neighborhood with all of the buses and carpools coming and going every morning.

I love all of the options that are available to my children.  In my day, everyone got on the same yellow bus that bumpily drove us all to the same public school.  Those days are long gone.  We parents have so many options available.  And all we really want is to provide the best option for our children.

That is what makes the Newark Charter School’s expansion such an emotional issue – it’s personal.  All of us just want what’s best for our kids.  Wouldn’t it be great if every child in my neighborhood could hop on a bus and have an educationally enriching and challenging experience everyday?  That is what we all hope for.

I applaud the work being done at Newark Charter School and hope the expansion is approved.  It will provide even more options for children in my neighborhood and provide a model school from which other public schools can learn.  Perhaps the parents who are so frustrated by this expansion should channel their energy to challenging their own school officials to improve their school of choice.  Shouldn’t all of the students in our neighborhood benefit from the work being done at NCS – by using it as a model to improve our own schools?

I have a son who is currently in 5th grade.  You can be certain that I will enter the Newark Charter lottery again and hope to ‘win’ a spot for him in the future.  But until that does, or does not, happen, isn’t it my job as his mother to provide him with the best education possible?  Instead of harping on what others have that I do not, I chose to spend my energy helping to improve the school that he does attend.  Engaged and involved parents can and SHOULD be the change agents that our schools need.  Let’s invest our time and talents to make sure our own schools are innovative and educationally challenging for our children.  Be the change.




Author:
Nancy Millard

nmillard@rodelde.org

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